A Journal of Disability Poetry and Literature

Volume 9     Issue 3     September 2015

Fiction and Essays in this Issue

Fiction in this issue begins with Kristen Harmon's "Marjie: True Business" a continuation of her trilogy about a community of Deaf teenagers, "What Lay Ahead." Paul Hostovsky, a frequent Wordgathering contributor, gives readers two short stories with protagonists who are blind or deaf-blind. While Harmon's and Hostovsky's stories follow a realistic tradition of writing, Stuart Sanderson's short story "George's Room"veers slightly from this tradition by making one of his protagonists a ghost with disability. The final story, from Lisa McKenzie, dips into myth to explore contemporary reactions to disability and difference.

This issue's two essays both address important topics in disability literature. Kate Grisim describes her reaction to hearing a comedian's use of negative language about disability and discusses when it is necessary to appropriate that language. Editor Michael Northen looks back at the only contest that has ever been created for the writers of disability-related for disability poetry. Because the inclusion of the length of this essay, it is presented in two versions. In the full version, the complete text of all winning poems is included. A shortened version, for readers who may not want to read through all of the poems, includes only the first few lines of each poem.

  • Kate Grisim, Why We Need to Change the Narratives Surrounding Disability
  • Michael Northen, The Inglis House Poetry Contest: One of a Kind (full version)
  • Michael Northen, The Inglis House Poetry Contest: One of a Kind (short version)

The editors are excited to announce that the first anthology of short fiction comprised entirely of work from writers with disabilities is scheduled to appear in the fall of 2016. Included in this anthology will be Kristen Harmon's "What Lay Ahead." The anthology, The Right Way to be Crippled and Naked, comes from Cinco Puntos Press and is edited by Sheila Black, Annabelle Hayse, and Michael Northen.

Wordgathering is always seeking new work of fiction by writers with disabilities. We also accept disability-related fiction by writers without disabilities that counters stereotypes of disability, including stories of cure or overcoming. Those interested in writing fiction that includes characters with disabilities may be interested in looking at the discussion of Patricia Dunn's recent book, Disabling Characters in the September issue of this journal.


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